Report from China – Mark Pritchard

From October 25th to November 13th Keep Believing Ministries had staff and supporters ministering in China and South Korea. Each day this week you’ll be taken on a journey to apartment churches, city walls, and into the heart of Christianity in Asia. We hope you’ll join us back here each day to read the stories, see the pictures, and rejoice in what God is doing on the other side of the world!

Mark Pritchard lives in Dallas, Texas where he is a student at Dallas Theological Seminary while working on staff at Keep Believing Ministries. Join Mark at a table with Chinese missionaries who have a vision to bring the Gospel back to Jerusalem.

An Unlikely Beachhead

Three miles from one of the most visited sections of the Great Wall of China, tucked away in a non-descript office building, twelve twenty-somethings toil away learning English, video editing, web-design, and app design. From all outward appearances, they’d pass for studious employees working hard to fulfill the entrepreneurial dreams of their leaders.

What you wouldn’t realize is that these twelve workers have already spent a year of intense Bible training in hotel rooms, basements, and barns throughout China.

What you also wouldn’t realize is that these twelve workers have left their families, friends, and homes to learn computer programs in a complicated language they can’t yet speak.

Finally, you would have no idea that the training these twelve workers receive will allow them to be “tentmakers” in countries like Pakistan, Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia, and Sudan.

In an unlikely place, God has established a beachhead just thirty miles from Beijing, where these twelve twenty-somethings are preparing to transform China along with the rest of Asia.

These were the students Vanessa and I met on a hazy November day.

At a Table with Giants 

Aaron is one of the few male employees at the center. He told us how God told him to bring the Gospel to the people of Northeast India. Though he’s never met an Indian or eaten Indian food and can’t speak Hindi, he believes God has called him to India, and He will take care of the rest.

Teresa is 24 years old. With a red face and an embarrassed smile, she asks us to pray for God to bring her a good and godly husband. With great candor and great sadness, she speaks about her loneliness and her sense of feeling incomplete. She is heading to Pakistan husband or not, but she longs to have a partner in life and ministry.

Joy hails from a region in China known as the birthplace of Kung Fu. At the age of 18, she is the youngest of all the students. She tells us that God has laid the people of Burma on her heart. She hopes to relocate there permanently to work with orphans. Through broken English and choking back tears, she asked us to pray for her parents who aren’t Christians and don’t support her calling.

People often call older men and women of faith “giants” because the strength and evidence of their faith so easily dwarfs our own. While we met and prayed with these students, I felt like I was sitting at a table with giants of the faith. Yes, these students are young and have much of life to experience, but it’s not as if their faith was born inside the relative safety and comfort of the American church. Having endured loneliness, loss family, poverty and persecution, these young men and women are still unflinchingly obedient to wherever God calls; even if it means taking up residence in areas that our government is afraid to go.

It’s easy to be impressed with their faith.

It’s easy to be challenged by their faith.

It’s easy to see why God has chosen them for this task.

As our short time wrapped up, I reminded them of the words of Peter to the scattered, lonely, and discouraged believers in Asia Minor from 1 Peter 5:9.

“Stand firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings.”

I told them that though our struggles and trials are not the same, we would remember them in prayer and in our testimony to others about what God is doing in China.

If you’ve read this far, you just realized that I promised your prayers to that small band of eager missionaries.

I hope you’ll remember them often.

I hope you’ll lay their lives, their families, and their ministry at the throne of God.

I hope you’ll join them in transforming Asia for the glory of God.

Three miles from one of the most visited sections of the Great Wall of China, tucked away in a non-descript office building, twelve students eagerly wait for the day they’re sent out to bring the Gospel to those who do not have the hope of eternity with Christ.

I promised to tell their story. Would you join me in praying for them?

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